Italy: Maremma

Guided Walking Tour, Italy: MaremmaGuided Walking Tour, Italy: Maremma

Italy

Maremma

overview

In Tuscany’s unspoiled south, the old ways of Italy come to life. Sip sublime wines in backyard vineyards, visit tranquil fishing villages along the Tyrrhenian coast, and see butteri herding cattle from horseback. In this memorable setting, you walk the ancient Vie Cave—Etruscan footpaths carved deep into canyons of volcanic rock—and relish the fare of authentic Slow Food restaurants. You’ll stay in elegant accommodations that capture the local flavor of each town—including a working farm and a seaside resort—and soak up the curative hot springs of Saturnia, which locals have flocked to for millennia. Giglio’s pastel-colored homes and lighthouses are a colorful welcome while crossing its deep-blue harbor by boat. Maremma is a perfect encapsulation of old-fashioned Italy, one you’ll appreciate for years to come.

Selected as a 2014 "Best Travel Destination" by Travel + Leisure.

2014 Downloadable Itinerary

2015 Downloadable Itinerary

Activity Level
Easy to moderate,
with an average of
4–7 miles per day
Meet
Rome, Italy
Depart
Grosseto, Italy
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
Guided Walking 
7 days, 6 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes:

  • Two expert, local guides (for groups of 8 or more), with you 24/7
  • All meals; local wine included with lunches and dinners
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the Country Walkers staff
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $485
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

This tour is also available to past guests as an exclusive Encore-Only Departure.

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

 

REQUEST RESERVATION
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION

gallery

Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Tarquinia
View on map
2
Tarquinia
View on map
3
Poggio Murella
View on map
4
Poggio Murella
View on map
5
Argentario
View on map
6
Argentario
View on map
7
Argentario
View on map
Day 1

Tarquinia

The Via Francigena: Capranica to Sutri; 4½ miles, easy to moderate. Visit to Sutri and its archaeological park. Evening visit to Tarquinia National Archaeological Museum

You meet your guides and fellow walkers this morning at the Hotel d’Inghilterra and walk to your waiting private coach. A drive of just under an hour brings you to the outskirts of Rome and the town of Capranica, from where you begin a walk along a historic pilgrimage route, the Via Francigena, to the neighboring ancient hill town of Sutri. Representing almost every period of human history on the peninsula, Sutri is a wealth of priceless antiquities—from Bronze Age, Etruscan, and Roman remains, as well as medieval architecture. The town was the third rest stop from Rome on the pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. Today, the gently undulating trail winds through a mixed forest of enchanting moss- and fern-covered chestnuts and oaks, bordering a river. Arriving in Sutri, you visit the town’s Mithraeum and the Rupestrian Necropolis—these are a group of Etruscan tombs that were transformed into a Mithraeum during the third century AD and later used as a Christian church. Also on the walk is the Roman amphitheater carved from tufa stone. Arriving in the historic center of Sutri, you pop into the ornate Romanesque Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta before breaking for lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, an hour’s drive takes you to your hotel for the next two nights, situated below the historic hilltop town of Tarquinia, just a few miles from the Tyrrhenian Sea in the area known as northern Lazio and Bassa or lower (southern) Maremma. In the same family for five generations, this country retreat and spa blends elegance and rural authenticity with inviting grounds and homemade local products. After checking in and relaxing, a short drive takes you to the center of Tarquinia—one of Italy’s most important archaeological sites, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its exceptional Etruscan painted tombs and artifacts. You learn about this advanced pre-Roman civilization at the excellent Etruscan Museum in the Gothic Palazzo Vitelleschi. Leaving the museum, you stroll to the main square, the Renaissance Piazza Cavour, to enjoy a glass of prosecco before proceeding to a Slow Food restaurant in a centuries-old building for a dinner featuring the best local seasonal ingredients.

Valle del Marta

Tarquinia, Italy

A country villa, this family-run, four-star resort combines elegance and deeply rooted rural traditions. Separate accommodation buildings spread over expansive grounds combine wooden beams and stone in spacious, comfortable, and stylish rooms with private terraces overlooking a central garden. An infinity pool, indoor Jacuzzi, and spa with treatment options are among the amenities, as well as a restaurant and farm shop serving its own homemade regional products.

Day 2

Tarquinia

La Farnesiana; 4- to 7-mile options, easy to moderate. Visit to Monterozzi - Calvario Etruscan Necropolis; ½ mile, easy. Hands-on cooking class or afternoon walk option; 2½ miles, easy to moderate

You enjoy a breakfast buffet this morning in the stone and wood-beamed dining room featuring homemade jams and pastries, local prosciutto crudo and cheeses, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, juices, and yogurt. A 20-minute drive takes you to the start of the morning walk in an area called La Farnesiana. Located at the foot of the Tolfa Mountains, this vast and unspoiled region is home to an association of farmers who work together to protect and promote their land, agriculture, and livestock. Almost 1,000 acres of low rolling hills of forest and farmland, the fields are mainly planted in durum wheat, the second “gold” of this region, along with olive oil. Known as the “Granary of Rome,” this region has produced wheat for millennia. Another ancient tradition here is the long-horned Maremma cattle breed, now protected.

The walk follows a gentle farm road with views over the fields and over the sea to the Argentario Peninsula (where you spend the last two nights of the tour). En route, you may encounter flocks of sheep watched over by shepherds with their big, white Maremmano sheepdogs, as well as the region’s traditional horses and cowboys, known as butteri in Italian. Skirting small farms and olive groves, you also pass the medieval archaeological site of Cencelle. The walk’s distance can be conveniently tailored at various points, and for lunch, all walkers meet at the Casale Poggio Nebbia, a family-run farm boasting 360-degree views from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Tolfa Mountains. You enjoy an Italian country-style feast featuring the farm’s high-quality, organic, and seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, cold cuts and pâtés, cheeses such as pecorino romano, bread and pasta, and, of course, wine from the family vineyards.

This afternoon, a short drive takes you to the Etruscan Necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Situated on a plateau, this incredible collection of tombs carved into the soft tufa rock holds painted frescoes depicting ancient Etruscan life—the earliest examples date to the seventh century BC. After your guides present an overview of the site, you can easily stroll between the tombs, reading the descriptions at the entrance, and descending short, steep stairways to view the frescoes. Concluding this visit, you return to your hotel, where you have a few more options: the first, after some time to refresh, is a hands-on cooking class right at the hotel, perhaps preparing a local sauce and homemade pasta dish. A second option is an easy loop walk along a ridge and into an oak forest back to the hotel. And lastly, you may choose to relax on your own at your hotel, enjoying its grounds or swimming pool, indulging in a massage or spa treatment, or taking one of its complimentary mountain bikes out for a spin.

Later, you gather as a group to enjoy an aperitivo and dinner at your hotel’s fine restaurant; on the menu may be vegetable bruschetta followed by the pasta made in the cooking class and perhaps a dish of ricotta and radicchio-stuffed ravioli in truffle sauce and mixed grilled meats.

Valle del Marta

Tarquinia, Italy

A country villa, this family-run, four-star resort combines elegance and deeply rooted rural traditions. Separate accommodation buildings spread over expansive grounds combine wooden beams and stone in spacious, comfortable, and stylish rooms with private terraces overlooking a central garden. An infinity pool, indoor Jacuzzi, and spa with treatment options are among the amenities, as well as a restaurant and farm shop serving its own homemade regional products.

Day 3

Poggio Murella

Outskirts of Tarquinia; 4-5 miles, easy to moderate. Visit to Capalbio. Transfer to Poggio Murella. Spa visit (at your own expense) or optional afternoon walk: Poggio Murella to Saturnia; 3½ miles, easy to moderate

You depart Tarquinia this morning and stop en route for a two-hour walk through oak and pine forests, habitat for wild boar and deer; views opening onto the valley stretch all the way to the Mediterranean coast. You then continue the drive to the charming medieval village of Capalbio. A favorite getaway for Italian politicians and celebrities, this walled village is perched on a hill surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. Narrow streets with inviting shops and trattorias wind up to the massive Aldobrandesca Fortress. Capalbio is completely enclosed within a double set of walls, extensive stretches of which can still be walked around a series of towers. With orientation from your guides, you have time to stroll, browse, and—from the high vantage point—admire the panorama. You regroup for lunch at a cozy stone and wood family-run trattoria situated in a beautiful little square overlooking the town walls and countryside. The woods surrounding Capalbio are ideal hunting grounds for wild boar, a main ingredient in many traditional regional dishes. And here, the menu might include handmade pappardelle al cinghiale, pasta with a boar-meat-based sauce, or the quintessential dish of the Maremma, acquacotta—a hearty stew based on seasonal vegetables, originally prepared for hungry farmers.

After lunch, you travel inland to Maremma’s tufa area and your home for the next two nights, a hilltop country villa with picturesque views of the nearby hills and fields, distant hilltop towns, and even further, the sea. Upon arrival, you can choose to sink into your hotel’s plush comfort and amenities, such as the outdoor saltwater pool and wellness center (with spa treatments). Alternatively, an easy two-hour walking option gives you a perfect introduction to this part of Tuscany. Or, a third option is to go to the nearby Terme di Saturnia—the famous thermal spa with ancient origins and sulfuric water baths (entrance fees are not included).

This evening, weather permitting, you dine on your hotel’s panoramic terrace overlooking the Saturnian valley with the lit-up hilltop towns of Montemerano and Saturnia in the distance.

Saturnia Tuscany Hotel

Poggio Murella, Italy

Set on a hill in the lush Tuscan countryside, this four-star villa hotel overlooks nearby medieval hilltop towns, vineyards, and olive groves, and, in the distance, the sea and the Maremma’s Argentario Peninsula. Spacious, modern rooms have either balconies or arched windows onto the dramatic landscape. In addition to a dining room, meals are served on the panoramic terrace, and its on-site amenities include an outdoor saltwater pool, wellness center with sauna, Turkish bath, two hydro-massage tubs, herbal room, Scottish shower, and numerous treatments. It is located just a mile from the Terme di Saturnia thermal spa as well as the Cascate del Mulino, Tuscany's best-known waterfall and natural springs.

Day 4

Poggio Murella

Sovana to Pitigliano; 5 miles, easy to moderate (walking sticks are recommended for this walk due to the uneven terrain). Pitigliano guided tour

Today is dedicated to exploring the Maremma’s tufa area, named for the porous volcanic rock that makes up the region’s geology and that has been used for millennia as a building material of homes, cellars, tombs, and cathedrals, and carved by Etruscans into a network of submerged roads. A 30-minute drive takes you to the day’s starting point of Sovana; with ancient Etruscan origins and exceptional medieval art, this golden-colored village is listed as one of the “most beautiful villages of Italy.” After a short visit to Sovana’s church, with its unique tabernacle, the route joins a trail that meanders through forest, opening up onto small plateaus. Passing fields, herds of sheep, olive groves, and vineyards, you approach the town of Pitigliano, and the final descent is through the very dramatic Via Cava di San Giuseppe, one of the ancient roads carved into the volcanic rock, lined with fascinating tombs, caves, and rare plant species.

Pitigliano, probably the Maremma’s best-known hilltop town, perched high on a tufa outcropping, is as historically fascinating as it is strikingly beautiful. With a rich Jewish history dating from Roman times through the 16th century, the town is known as “Little Jerusalem,” and a guided walking tour takes you through the old Jewish neighborhood with its tiny and richly adorned synagogue and a museum of Jewish culture, including the old bakery, kosher butcher, and dyeing shops.

You also visit the medieval and Renaissance buildings connected with the powerful Orsini family, the 16th-century aqueduct, and the 12th-century Church of Santa Maria. Lunch today is at a Slow Food osteria that continues to prepare the town’s traditional dishes, including the honey- and walnut-based pastry of Jewish origin, sfratto. Local cured hams or the region’s ricotta, truffle, and nettle-stuffed tortelli pasta is served with its well-known crisp white wine, Bianco di Pitigliano.

Later in the afternoon, a 40-minute drive takes you back to your hotel. You’ll have time to relax and enjoy its amenities before heading out in the evening to the medieval hilltop town of Montemerano for a stroll around the town and dinner at a favorite local restaurant.

Saturnia Tuscany Hotel

Poggio Murella, Italy

Set on a hill in the lush Tuscan countryside, this four-star villa hotel overlooks nearby medieval hilltop towns, vineyards, and olive groves, and, in the distance, the sea and the Maremma’s Argentario Peninsula. Spacious, modern rooms have either balconies or arched windows onto the dramatic landscape. In addition to a dining room, meals are served on the panoramic terrace, and its on-site amenities include an outdoor saltwater pool, wellness center with sauna, Turkish bath, two hydro-massage tubs, herbal room, Scottish shower, and numerous treatments. It is located just a mile from the Terme di Saturnia thermal spa as well as the Cascate del Mulino, Tuscany's best-known waterfall and natural springs.

Day 5

Argentario

La Parrina; 3½ miles, easy to moderate. Transfer to Monte Argentario

Today’s final destination is the Maremma’s coast on the promontory of Monte Argentario, but first is a splendid walk on the extensive grounds of the Agriturismo La Parrina, followed by a visit to the farm and lunch with wine tasting. Upon arrival, you take a farm road through the property’s vineyards, olive groves, and orchards of peach and apricot. Then, you are guided through the farm’s wine cellar and small but well-equipped dairy, where they produce a wide range of cheeses—sheep, goat, and cow’s milk cheeses along with yogurt, ricotta, and ravaggiolo, a fresh cheese unique to the region. After working up an appetite, you proceed to an alfresco buffet lunch of all the farm’s products in the pebbled courtyard, and you are led through a wine tasting. La Parrina has produced its DOC wines, specific to this region, since 1971—reds include sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot, and whites ansonica, vermentino, and a blend of trebbiano, chardonnay, and sauvignon.

Leaving the farm, a half-hour drive brings you to your seaside retreat in its magnificent location right on the water. After checking in, you have time to relax and enjoy its grounds and stroll down to the nearby beach or enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool, weather permitting. The Monte Argentario is a secluded and wooded promontory connected to the mainland of Tuscany by three causeways. Taking full advantage of our proximity to the Mediterranean, dinner tonight is simply the freshest seafood at a restaurant overlooking the harbor at Porto Santo Stefano, the yacht haven on the Tuscan coast.

Hotel Torre di Cala Piccola

Porto Santo Stefano, Argentario, Italy

A luxury four-star resort tucked into a privileged seaside location on the Maremma's Argentario peninsula and built on an outcropping overlooking the sea and the “little cove” of its name, surrounding a 17th-century stone tower. Spacious and contemporary rooms offer all comforts in a compound of buildings connected by flower- and herb-lined paths as well as a fine-dining restaurant and alfresco seating, bar, and garden areas. A swimming pool at ground level is poised over the sea and nearby is the natural cove for sea bathing. Also on site is a wellness center offering spa treatments.

Day 6

Argentario

Giglio Island; 3½- to 5-mile options, easy to moderate

Today’s destination is the island of Giglio, the most charming of several islands in the Tuscan archipelago. A short transfer brings you to Porto Santo Stefano, where you make the 45-minute boat crossing to Giglio Porto, the island’s main port. The granite island, as is common throughout Tuscany, is crowned by a hilltop medieval town—Giglio Castello, encircled by castle walls, as its name implies. A short transfer transports you to this charming historic center for a stroll around its intriguing streets, stone archways, and 12th-century fortress. Long and shorter walking options depart from the center toward the southern end of the island and provide truly spectacular views of the Tyrrhenian Sea with the islands of Monte Cristo, Elba, and Corsica in the distance, as well as the Monte Argentario promontory and the Tuscan coastline.

Fragrant Mediterranean mixed macchia vegetation slopes to the sea down hillsides that at one time were entirely terraced and cultivated. A number of ancient grape varieties are being reintroduced by the farmers you see at work in their vineyards. All walkers reunite back in Giglio Castello, where you sit down for lunch at a restaurant with a huge welcoming terrace and panoramic windows overlooking the sea and the ancient village. Specializing in seafood and traditional dishes, the restaurant also features wine from the island.

After lunch, you head back down to Giglio Porto, where you board a boat for the mainland. Once back on land, you can unwind at your hotel in the later afternoon. Your final evening celebrating your Tuscan adventure begins with an aperitivo in the hotel’s garden with its terrific views of what is said to be the best sunset in Maremma. Your hotel’s rooftop restaurant is the setting for a final festive dinner, specializing in fresh seafood and local wines, where you toast the beauty and bounty of the Maremma overlooking the shimmering Tyrrhenian.

Hotel Torre di Cala Piccola

Porto Santo Stefano, Argentario, Italy

A luxury four-star resort tucked into a privileged seaside location on the Maremma's Argentario peninsula and built on an outcropping overlooking the sea and the “little cove” of its name, surrounding a 17th-century stone tower. Spacious and contemporary rooms offer all comforts in a compound of buildings connected by flower- and herb-lined paths as well as a fine-dining restaurant and alfresco seating, bar, and garden areas. A swimming pool at ground level is poised over the sea and nearby is the natural cove for sea bathing. Also on site is a wellness center offering spa treatments.

Day 7

Argentario

Departure from Grosseto

You depart the Monte Argentario this morning and drive about one hour to the city of Grosseto. Your guides show you around the city center with its Church of San Francesco, the Duomo, and the Medicean walls, and perhaps there’s time for a final gelato together before saying farewell at the train station at noon. Easy train connections can be made south to Rome or north to Pisa and Florence, leaving you free to head home or to continue your exploration of Italy.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Alessandro Gullo

Alex is a native of Italy with Sicilian ancestry. Educated in the U.S. as well as Italy, he is a certified guide of historic monuments in Umbria. He combines his charming personality with a vast knowledge of culture, art, history, food, and wine on many of our vacations in Italy.

Manuela Ciri

Manuela was born and raised on a farm in Umbria where she has been involved in leading cooking lessons and olive-oil tastings. Educated both in Italy and in the U.S., she is a botanist, herbal healer, and certified environmental guide; her vast knowledge of nature, agriculture, and traditional food is warmed by her sunny smile and joyful nature. This multi-talented guide also has her captain’s license and can often be found in Croatia—her home away from home. She has sailed the Adriatic numerous times and is passionate about the language, culture, and people. In her ‘spare’ time, Manuela teaches environmental education and works on landscape engineering projects.

Angelica Turi

Angelica has been working in the field of art restoration in her hometown of Florence for many years, specializing in paintings on canvas and icons. She is equally comfortable in the Tuscan countryside where her family has been producing wine and olive oil since the mid-19th century. An outdoor enthusiast, Angelica has a deep appreciation of the fine food and wine of Italy, which she gracefully shares on many of our Italian tours.

Gianni Stanghellini

Gianni was born in Siena, where he earned a Ph.D. in polar sciences (geology). As a certified walking guide, he enjoys sharing his knowledge about the Tuscan and Piedmontese countryside and its beautiful villages with visitors. When not guiding our tours in Tuscany and Piedmont, he is a talented jazz musician, playing both sax and flute!

Marzia Borghi

Passionate naturalist Marzia Borghi grew up on her grandparents’ farm in the historic town of Volterra, Italy—chasing pigeons around the yard and exploring the scenic Tuscan landscape. She studied linguistics at the University of Pisa and spent years teaching Italian at a prestigious university near London before returning home to Pisa, where she worked as a researcher for the European Union. In addition to being a certified walking guide for CW, Marzia works at the Tuscan Archipelago Islands National Park on the island of Elba.

Experience More

Guided Walking Tour, Italy: Tuscany & Umbria

Italy: Tuscany & Umbria

To understand Italy’s philosophy of life, you must eat like an Italian. Happily, the great Umbrian tradition of fine food and wine figures prominently on this tour... Scheduled Group Departures: May 3, 2015, May 17, 2015, September 6, 2015, September 20, 2015, October 4, 2015
Select Experience Tour, Italy: Florence

Italy: Florence (3D/2N)

This three-day stay in Florence delights with its combination of the city’s best known art, history, and culture... Departure Dates: This tour is available on request.
Select Experience Tour, Italy: Florence

Italy: Florence (4D/3N)

This four-day stay in Florence delights with its combination of the city’s best known art, history, culture, and cuisine—from your base in a luxurious hotel on the banks of the Arno River... Departure Dates: This tour is available on request.
Select Experience Tour, Italy: Positano

Italy: Positano

Positano, a dramatic hillside town of pastel houses and lemon groves clinging to the sides of a gorge on the Amalfi Coast, has long beguiled visitors... Departure Dates: This tour is available on request.
Select Experience Tour, Italy: Rome

Italy: Rome

To walk in Rome is to feel the ebb and swirl of three thousand years of living history—an enchanting melánge of Roman ambition, Baroque decadence, and modern-day Italian chic... Departure Dates: This tour is available on request.
PDF Download Capture: